Friday, November 29, 2013

A CASE FOR HATE

I played sports in school.  My coach would yell things like, "My grandmother can run faster!" and "C'mon Ladies, You're slow as molasses!!"  Speed shaming.  I hated it.

My daughter's in the Army.  Her DS yelled things that aren't at all fit for print, and made my high school coach look like Mother Goose.  Loser shaming.  Disgusting.

And now there's Maria Kang.  A mom who was thrust into the limelight a month or so ago for making less-then-fit women feel lazy.  She's baaack...

I watched the News the other night.  I heard the report of how she bashed curvy women and said that women who are even the slightest bit overweight shouldn't be at all proud of themselves.  This was the News.  Not ET, or TMZ or any of those other ridiculous acronyms that churn out fodder to incite the masses.  This was the News.  I turned to Scott and said, "I supported her before, but why doesn't she just focus on encouraging others instead of bashing them?  Talk about how great you feel instead of how disgusting you think we all are."  If you build it they will come.

Well, here it is.  Maria Kang's original Facebook post:
"While I think it's important to love and accept your body, I was a little peeved because while I feel like it's ok to love and accept your body, I think we're normalizing obesity in our society.
"We need to change this strange mentality we are breeding in the U.S. and start celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication and discipline. I’m not bashing those who are proud and overweight, I am empowering those who are proud and healthy to come out and be the real role models in our society."
Do you hear the hate speech? "a little peeved..."  Can you see how bigoted she is? "I feel like it's ok to love and accept your body..."  And then, there were those words -- "normalizing obesity in our society."  Who does she think she is???  "Celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication and discipline?"  Is she nuts?  You mean, instead of loathing them?  Instead of allowing our envy to metastasize onto full-blown bitterness and derision?  Instead of holding ourselves to a higher standard and giving our children real heroes to emulate?  This woman is from Mars!!! 

Sarcasm aside, not only did even the Nightly News perpetuate this witch hunt, not only did Maria Kang speak with encouragement and truth, not only were her comments a challenge to "out" complacency, lower standards, jealousy and success shaming, not only did my daughter and I (and countless other kids, teens, and adults with loving coaches, teachers, therapists and mentors) learn lots about pushing ourselves and finding strength to meet our goals, but I will be reposting Ms. Kang's comment on my Facebook as a challenge to myself and those I love to provoke and confront ourselves in ways we never dreamed, to be kind to ourselves, and to be healthy examples for our children.

Black & White Friday

FACT ONE: Yesterday (by a scarce 8 hours or so) most Americans sat around tables brimming with food fit for kings of old, and gave thanks.  To whom (or to Whom) and for what depended largely on the folks gathered there.  Many bore in mind "those who are not as blessed."

FACT TWO: Many of those same folks are today, trampling others, cutting others off in traffic, depressing their horns and extending their middle fingers as they see their coveted parking spot ripped from them, in this exercise of greed known as Black Friday.

FACT THREE: (Ask my daughter) "Momma doesn't leave the house on Black Friday."

I do this not out of protest, or superiority, or even some secret knowledge of Cyber Monday years before it was ever labeled such.  I do it because I am as short-tempered, intolerant and greedy as the next Momma.  Some alcoholics lick their lips at the sight of a bar; some angry folks grind their teeth and tighten their hands around a purely clairvoyant steering wheel at the sight of a Black Friday ad.

The irony and hypocrisy between Fact One and Fact Two are best left for another day.  The blessing I have experienced serving, and being served by some of "those who are not as blessed," and the truth that blessings are directly proportional to the altitude of your attitude, are best left for many days to come.  But my weakness?  That is right here and right now, in black & white.

  "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10